Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

Hello everyone,

Thank you for choosing and using LibreOffice!

My name is  Charles-H. Schulz and I'm one of the co-founders of the
Document Foundation.  Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
"regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice  project.

You obviously know that LibreOffice is Free Software and that it comes
with  rights and freedoms for you. But besides that LibreOffice is a
software development project populated by a community of people who
contribute their time and skills (and many skills are required, not
just the technical ones!) on a volunteer or on a paid basis.

But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we (the
people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has the ability
to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it 1)interesting 2)
accessible 3)easy to understand what the various tasks are 4)possible
to spread the word about it?

... And this is where you come in the picture. We worked on a short
survey that's anonymous (we don't require your name nor your email) and
we would really like it if you could take a few minutes of your time to
answer these questions. As you will see they are all about
understanding how we could include users of LibreOffice and turn them
into contributors. The survey is here:
https://survey.documentfoundation.org/index.php/574531/lang-en

We hope you're having a great time and thank you again for using
LibreOffice!

Best regards,

--
Charles-H. Schulz
Co-founder, The Document Foundation,
Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
Legal details: http://www.documentfoundation.org/imprint
Mobile Number: +33 (0)6 98 65 54 24.


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snowshed snowshed
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

On 11/1/13 7:04 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

> Hello everyone,
>
> Thank you for choosing and using LibreOffice!
>
> My name is  Charles-H. Schulz and I'm one of the co-founders of the
> Document Foundation.  Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
> project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
> "regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice  project.
>
> You obviously know that LibreOffice is Free Software and that it comes
> with  rights and freedoms for you. But besides that LibreOffice is a
> software development project populated by a community of people who
> contribute their time and skills (and many skills are required, not
> just the technical ones!) on a volunteer or on a paid basis.
>
> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
> day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we (the
> people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has the ability
> to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it 1)interesting 2)
> accessible 3)easy to understand what the various tasks are 4)possible
> to spread the word about it?
>
> ... And this is where you come in the picture. We worked on a short
> survey that's anonymous (we don't require your name nor your email) and
> we would really like it if you could take a few minutes of your time to
> answer these questions. As you will see they are all about
> understanding how we could include users of LibreOffice and turn them
> into contributors. The survey is here:
> https://survey.documentfoundation.org/index.php/574531/lang-en
>
> We hope you're having a great time and thank you again for using
> LibreOffice!
>
> Best regards,

I went to do the survey, didn't complete it.  From going through the
pages, too many places didn't allow me to provide feedback on my
interests as well as concerns before becoming involved.  On a couple of
pages, I would like to have selected more than one.

IMO, surveys such as this are essentially slanted, and could give you
the answers you want to hear, not the ones you should hear.

Lastly, after clicking the Exit and Clear survey button, in the
following window, the close this window button did not work, even in
Safe Mode for Firefox.

--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8
LibreOffice 4.1.2.3


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Dale Erwin Dale Erwin
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

On 11/1/2013 2:05 PM, Ken Springer wrote:

> On 11/1/13 7:04 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>>
>> Thank you for choosing and using LibreOffice!
>>
>> My name is  Charles-H. Schulz and I'm one of the co-founders of the
>> Document Foundation.  Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
>> project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
>> "regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice project.
>>
>> You obviously know that LibreOffice is Free Software and that it comes
>> with  rights and freedoms for you. But besides that LibreOffice is a
>> software development project populated by a community of people who
>> contribute their time and skills (and many skills are required, not
>> just the technical ones!) on a volunteer or on a paid basis.
>>
>> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
>> day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we (the
>> people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has the ability
>> to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it 1)interesting 2)
>> accessible 3)easy to understand what the various tasks are 4)possible
>> to spread the word about it?
>>
>> ... And this is where you come in the picture. We worked on a short
>> survey that's anonymous (we don't require your name nor your email) and
>> we would really like it if you could take a few minutes of your time to
>> answer these questions. As you will see they are all about
>> understanding how we could include users of LibreOffice and turn them
>> into contributors. The survey is here:
>> https://survey.documentfoundation.org/index.php/574531/lang-en
>>
>> We hope you're having a great time and thank you again for using
>> LibreOffice!
>>
>> Best regards,
>
> I went to do the survey, didn't complete it.  From going through the
> pages, too many places didn't allow me to provide feedback on my
> interests as well as concerns before becoming involved.  On a couple
> of pages, I would like to have selected more than one.
>
> IMO, surveys such as this are essentially slanted, and could give you
> the answers you want to hear, not the ones you should hear.
>
> Lastly, after clicking the Exit and Clear survey button, in the
> following window, the close this window button did not work, even in
> Safe Mode for Firefox.
>

I agree about the survey.  The multiple-choice type answers did not
reflect my answers.  However, I had no trouble closing the window
without completing the survey.

--
Dale Erwin
Jr. 28 de Julio 657, Depto. 03
Magdalena del Mar, Lima 17 PERU
http://leather.casaerwin.org


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nabbler nabbler
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
On 01/11/2013, Charles-H. Schulz <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
> day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we (the
> people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has the ability
> to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it 1)interesting 2)
> accessible 3)easy to understand what the various tasks are 4)possible
> to spread the word about it?
>

Question 2 requires a definition of "contribute", e.g. is a bug
submission contribution? Is helping another user via the mailing list
a contribution?

Q5 answers above, therefore should appear in the survey before q2!

Q11 what is the relevance of knowing users' locations?

Agree with Mr Springer's message.

LO people should simply read the mailing list; every random date,
select a random number of mailing lists threads, read, analyse and
consider whether further action is necessary. You will get much better
information than a biased "survey"

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Dan Hall Dan Hall
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Dale Erwin
*ditto*

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Erwin [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2013 6:04 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice
Project

On 11/1/2013 2:05 PM, Ken Springer wrote:

> On 11/1/13 7:04 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>>
>> Thank you for choosing and using LibreOffice!
>>
>> My name is  Charles-H. Schulz and I'm one of the co-founders of the
>> Document Foundation.  Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
>> project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
>> "regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice project.
>>
>> You obviously know that LibreOffice is Free Software and that it comes
>> with  rights and freedoms for you. But besides that LibreOffice is a
>> software development project populated by a community of people who
>> contribute their time and skills (and many skills are required, not
>> just the technical ones!) on a volunteer or on a paid basis.
>>
>> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
>> day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we (the
>> people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has the ability
>> to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it 1)interesting 2)
>> accessible 3)easy to understand what the various tasks are 4)possible
>> to spread the word about it?
>>
>> ... And this is where you come in the picture. We worked on a short
>> survey that's anonymous (we don't require your name nor your email) and
>> we would really like it if you could take a few minutes of your time to
>> answer these questions. As you will see they are all about
>> understanding how we could include users of LibreOffice and turn them
>> into contributors. The survey is here:
>> https://survey.documentfoundation.org/index.php/574531/lang-en
>>
>> We hope you're having a great time and thank you again for using
>> LibreOffice!
>>
>> Best regards,
>
> I went to do the survey, didn't complete it.  From going through the
> pages, too many places didn't allow me to provide feedback on my
> interests as well as concerns before becoming involved.  On a couple
> of pages, I would like to have selected more than one.
>
> IMO, surveys such as this are essentially slanted, and could give you
> the answers you want to hear, not the ones you should hear.
>
> Lastly, after clicking the Exit and Clear survey button, in the
> following window, the close this window button did not work, even in
> Safe Mode for Firefox.
>

I agree about the survey.  The multiple-choice type answers did not
reflect my answers.  However, I had no trouble closing the window
without completing the survey.

--
Dale Erwin
Jr. 28 de Julio 657, Depto. 03
Magdalena del Mar, Lima 17 PERU
http://leather.casaerwin.org


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jorge-2 jorge-2
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

Hi Charles and all:

I agree with this survey and I think it would be usefull and I haven't problem to give my e-mail to Document Foundation.

Regards,

Jorge Rodríguez

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Hall" <[hidden email]>
To: "Dale Erwin" <[hidden email]>, [hidden email]
Sent: Friday, November 1, 2013 5:11:40 PM
Subject: RE: [libreoffice-users] Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

*ditto*

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Erwin [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, November 01, 2013 6:04 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice
Project

On 11/1/2013 2:05 PM, Ken Springer wrote:

> On 11/1/13 7:04 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>>
>> Thank you for choosing and using LibreOffice!
>>
>> My name is  Charles-H. Schulz and I'm one of the co-founders of the
>> Document Foundation.  Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
>> project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
>> "regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice project.
>>
>> You obviously know that LibreOffice is Free Software and that it comes
>> with  rights and freedoms for you. But besides that LibreOffice is a
>> software development project populated by a community of people who
>> contribute their time and skills (and many skills are required, not
>> just the technical ones!) on a volunteer or on a paid basis.
>>
>> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
>> day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we (the
>> people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has the ability
>> to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it 1)interesting 2)
>> accessible 3)easy to understand what the various tasks are 4)possible
>> to spread the word about it?
>>
>> ... And this is where you come in the picture. We worked on a short
>> survey that's anonymous (we don't require your name nor your email) and
>> we would really like it if you could take a few minutes of your time to
>> answer these questions. As you will see they are all about
>> understanding how we could include users of LibreOffice and turn them
>> into contributors. The survey is here:
>> https://survey.documentfoundation.org/index.php/574531/lang-en
>>
>> We hope you're having a great time and thank you again for using
>> LibreOffice!
>>
>> Best regards,
>
> I went to do the survey, didn't complete it.  From going through the
> pages, too many places didn't allow me to provide feedback on my
> interests as well as concerns before becoming involved.  On a couple
> of pages, I would like to have selected more than one.
>
> IMO, surveys such as this are essentially slanted, and could give you
> the answers you want to hear, not the ones you should hear.
>
> Lastly, after clicking the Exit and Clear survey button, in the
> following window, the close this window button did not work, even in
> Safe Mode for Firefox.
>

I agree about the survey.  The multiple-choice type answers did not
reflect my answers.  However, I had no trouble closing the window
without completing the survey.

--
Dale Erwin
Jr. 28 de Julio 657, Depto. 03
Magdalena del Mar, Lima 17 PERU
http://leather.casaerwin.org


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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by nabbler
Le Fri, 1 Nov 2013 22:59:33 +0000,
e-letter <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> On 01/11/2013, Charles-H. Schulz
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
> > day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we
> > (the people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has
> > the ability to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it
> > 1)interesting 2) accessible 3)easy to understand what the various
> > tasks are 4)possible to spread the word about it?
> >
>
> Question 2 requires a definition of "contribute", e.g. is a bug
> submission contribution? Is helping another user via the mailing list
> a contribution?

Users support, yes.


>
> Q5 answers above, therefore should appear in the survey before q2!
>
> Q11 what is the relevance of knowing users' locations?
>
> Agree with Mr Springer's message.
>
> LO people should simply read the mailing list; every random date,
> select a random number of mailing lists threads, read, analyse and
> consider whether further action is necessary. You will get much better
> information than a biased "survey"


I read Mr Springer's message and we do not want to have a biased survey
at all. One of the reasons we came up with a survey is that  we were
precisely not able to get the big picture by reading mailing lists.
It's important to note that there is no good or bad answer in this
survey, it's about understanding opportunities we could create for
users.

Last but not least the geography might count, yes. You do not see your
contribution potential whether you're in a country that has ubiquitous
broadband or in a country where most people connect to the internet via
phones or for the wealthiest, satellite.

Best,




--
Charles-H. Schulz
Co-founder, The Document Foundation,
Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
Legal details: http://www.documentfoundation.org/imprint
Mobile Number: +33 (0)6 98 65 54 24.


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snowshed snowshed
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

On 11/2/13 3:48 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

> Le Fri, 1 Nov 2013 22:59:33 +0000,
> e-letter <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
>> On 01/11/2013, Charles-H. Schulz
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>
>>> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere, one
>>> day, to contribute, and while they all have their own reasons, we
>>> (the people in charge of "marketing") thought that everybody has
>>> the ability to contribute. The question is: how  can we make it
>>> 1)interesting 2) accessible 3)easy to understand what the various
>>> tasks are 4)possible to spread the word about it?
>>>
>>
>> Question 2 requires a definition of "contribute", e.g. is a bug
>> submission contribution? Is helping another user via the mailing list
>> a contribution?
>
> Users support, yes.
>
>
>>
>> Q5 answers above, therefore should appear in the survey before q2!
>>
>> Q11 what is the relevance of knowing users' locations?
>>
>> Agree with Mr Springer's message.
>>
>> LO people should simply read the mailing list; every random date,
>> select a random number of mailing lists threads, read, analyse and
>> consider whether further action is necessary. You will get much better
>> information than a biased "survey"
>
>
> I read Mr Springer's message and we do not want to have a biased survey
> at all. One of the reasons we came up with a survey is that  we were
> precisely not able to get the big picture by reading mailing lists.
> It's important to note that there is no good or bad answer in this
> survey, it's about understanding opportunities we could create for
> users.

Most if not all of these surveys that tend to be biased in some way, and
all of multiple choice surveys in general, have the same problem.  Not
enough options for the user.  IMO, the survey could simply be modified,
and then the construction of the questions as well as the actual
questions aren't so important.

        1.  Always have a "None of the above" selection
        2.  Allow the selection of more than one option, or no option at all.
        3.  Always have a comments window for each page so you can explain
                your choice(s).  Multiple choice only limits the feedback you get.
        4.  At the end of survey, have a general comments section where the user
                can express just about anything regarding LO.

Surveys constructed without the above features will almost always be
biased in some way.

A scenario:  100 people check out the survey.  40 of them are like me,
they can't give you accurate answers.  They exit, and you just lost 40%
of potentially useable information.

All surveys are meant to tell the originator(s) information they want to
know.  But the information you want may not be what you *need* to know
to be successful.

I could go on about why I'm looking for LO alternatives, but that's not
the topic of this thread.  If you are interested and have the time, I'd
discuss LO off list.  The email address in the header is valid.

> Last but not least the geography might count, yes. You do not see your
> contribution potential whether you're in a country that has ubiquitous
> broadband or in a country where most people connect to the internet via
> phones or for the wealthiest, satellite.

The geography info also tells you where your users are, also.  That can
be helpful to identify where you may need to find out why usage in some
locations is low.  Low usage may not have anything to do with LO at all.

As for satellite usage, wealthiest does not always apply if you consider
only cost alone, not speed.  I've lived at my location for 9.5 years.
Modem and true satellite (no "mixed" systems) were the only options
until 2-3 years ago when a main trunk line was replaced with fiber
optics.  I had satellite for many years.  For the same price, DSL
basically just gave me more speeds and unlimited data.  Not enough
difference in price for the base packages to really be a factor.

I do hope you have the time to contact me via email.  (HTML preferred)
I'd like to see some serious competition for MS Office, but there
appears to be none, either open source or commercial.


--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8
LibreOffice 4.1.2.3


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Paul Steyn Paul Steyn
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

Hi Ken,

> I'd like to see some serious competition for MS Office,
> but there appears to be none, either open source or commercial.
Why do you say there is no serious competition to MS Office?
Personally, I find LO to be slightly easier to use than MS Office
(although the difference is negligible, barring the ribbon, which I
find terrible), and just as functional for all my needs, and most of
the needs I have ever seen anybody use. I grant you that there are
possibly some advanced uses of Excel in particular that LO may not be
equal to, and integration with things like Exchange and Active
Directory that MS Office obviously has the edge in, but I have never
seen these in practice. I'm interested to know what aspects you find
lacking in LO.

Paul

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snowshed snowshed
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

Hi, Paul,

On 11/2/13 4:23 PM, Paul wrote:

> Hi Ken,
>
>> I'd like to see some serious competition for MS Office,
>> but there appears to be none, either open source or commercial.
> Why do you say there is no serious competition to MS Office?
> Personally, I find LO to be slightly easier to use than MS Office
> (although the difference is negligible, barring the ribbon, which I
> find terrible), and just as functional for all my needs, and most of
> the needs I have ever seen anybody use. I grant you that there are
> possibly some advanced uses of Excel in particular that LO may not be
> equal to, and integration with things like Exchange and Active
> Directory that MS Office obviously has the edge in, but I have never
> seen these in practice. I'm interested to know what aspects you find
> lacking in LO.

Let's start with some general points to start with.  First, the user.
For most home users,  who probably are not as experienced or
knowledgeable of Word and LO as you and I,  the advanced features are
not needed.  So something simpler to use, like Kingsoft Office Free, are
more suited to those users.  And there are other free and commercial
office products that offer .doc/.docx compatibility.  I can't say how
good it is, I've never sat down to try them.  So LO and the other Ooo
branches are not unique in that aspect, so LO is not the only game in
town for that.

I did recently ask a friend to write a letter of recommendation for a
job application packet.  She did it in Word on her Mac.  Displayed like
crap!  Fortunately, printing it as a PDF file didn't exhibit any problems.

BTW, I hate that frickin' ribbon too.  Thankfully, you can turn it off
and have the old menu system back.

And any particular interface, hereinafter (lawyer-like enough?   LOL)
called the UI, may not fit a particular user.  For about an hour a few
weeks ago, I played with a product called SSOffice, or similar name, and
I really, really liked the UI.  Better than Word or LO.  But it may not
be for everyone.  And it doesn't run on a Mac.  :-(

If you want to entice people to switch from Product X to LO, you not
only have to be as good as Product X, you have to be a Helluva lot
better.  Pricing is not that important anymore.  Gone are the days when
standalone MS Word would be in the $300-$400 range.  And if you're a
business, that purchase is tax deductible.

Free is just not good enough as a marketing tool anymore.

And you aren't competing with just MS Office, you're also competing with
every other document program out there, and that includes typesetting
programs like LyX (free) used by many in the math and science world, and
DTP software such as Scribus, Publisher, Adobe Pagemaker, and others in
between.

For something more specific:

        https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=44871
        https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46986

Working around these issues creates more work for the user than doing
the same things in Word.  Would you switch to a program that causes more
work for you?

Then, there is this thread I started 10/29/13:

        news://news.gmane.org:119/l4pbem$2ud$[hidden email]

        In case the link doesn't work in your reader/email/whatever, the
subject is "Picture size
        controls".

People who've used Word will expect that feature to work similarly,
since the text in the dialogue box has a very similar meaning.  Graphics
programs that offer free drawing will use something like LO's method,
but people working with documents will not have a clue.  And it's also
extra work compared to Word.  When you have that option engaged in Word,
when you are in the document just grab a handle and resize maintaining
the aspect ratio until you get what you want.  With LO, you have to
experiment to get the right size you want.

I have a list of other items in LO that didn't work right or as expected
in 3.x.x that I have not double checked in 4.1.2.3.  Why?  It goes back
to the two bugs above, that I filed.  It's obviously not important to
the developers.  But it *is* important to me.  If features I use do not
work or work correctly, why would I stay?  That's why I'm looking for
new alternatives to to LO.  And for my Windows friends, I recommend they
try Kingsoft Office Free.

You simply have to be better than the others.  And I don't see that yet
in LO.

I will give LO the nod in help files, though often missing something.
It's on the hard drive, you do not need internet access to read them as
you do in Word.

--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8
LibreOffice 4.1.2.3


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Charles-H. Schulz Charles-H. Schulz
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by snowshed
Hello Ken,

Le Sat, 02 Nov 2013 09:07:57 -0600,
Ken Springer <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> On 11/2/13 3:48 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
> > Le Fri, 1 Nov 2013 22:59:33 +0000,
> > e-letter <[hidden email]> a écrit :
> >
> >> On 01/11/2013, Charles-H. Schulz
> >> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> But when we come to think of it, these people started somewhere,
> >>> one day, to contribute, and while they all have their own
> >>> reasons, we (the people in charge of "marketing") thought that
> >>> everybody has the ability to contribute. The question is: how
> >>> can we make it 1)interesting 2) accessible 3)easy to understand
> >>> what the various tasks are 4)possible to spread the word about it?
> >>>
> >>
> >> Question 2 requires a definition of "contribute", e.g. is a bug
> >> submission contribution? Is helping another user via the mailing
> >> list a contribution?
> >
> > Users support, yes.
> >
> >
> >>
> >> Q5 answers above, therefore should appear in the survey before q2!
> >>
> >> Q11 what is the relevance of knowing users' locations?
> >>
> >> Agree with Mr Springer's message.
> >>
> >> LO people should simply read the mailing list; every random date,
> >> select a random number of mailing lists threads, read, analyse and
> >> consider whether further action is necessary. You will get much
> >> better information than a biased "survey"
> >
> >
> > I read Mr Springer's message and we do not want to have a biased
> > survey at all. One of the reasons we came up with a survey is that
> > we were precisely not able to get the big picture by reading
> > mailing lists. It's important to note that there is no good or bad
> > answer in this survey, it's about understanding opportunities we
> > could create for users.
>
> Most if not all of these surveys that tend to be biased in some way,
> and all of multiple choice surveys in general, have the same
> problem.  Not enough options for the user.  IMO, the survey could
> simply be modified, and then the construction of the questions as
> well as the actual questions aren't so important.
>
> 1.  Always have a "None of the above" selection
> 2.  Allow the selection of more than one option, or no option
> at all. 3.  Always have a comments window for each page so you can
> explain your choice(s).  Multiple choice only limits the feedback you
> get. 4.  At the end of survey, have a general comments section where
> the user can express just about anything regarding LO.
>
> Surveys constructed without the above features will almost always be
> biased in some way.
>
> A scenario:  100 people check out the survey.  40 of them are like
> me, they can't give you accurate answers.  They exit, and you just
> lost 40% of potentially useable information.
>
> All surveys are meant to tell the originator(s) information they want
> to know.  But the information you want may not be what you *need* to
> know to be successful.
>
> I could go on about why I'm looking for LO alternatives, but that's
> not the topic of this thread.  If you are interested and have the
> time, I'd discuss LO off list.  The email address in the header is
> valid.
>
> > Last but not least the geography might count, yes. You do not see
> > your contribution potential whether you're in a country that has
> > ubiquitous broadband or in a country where most people connect to
> > the internet via phones or for the wealthiest, satellite.
>
> The geography info also tells you where your users are, also.  That
> can be helpful to identify where you may need to find out why usage
> in some locations is low.  Low usage may not have anything to do with
> LO at all.
>
> As for satellite usage, wealthiest does not always apply if you
> consider only cost alone, not speed.  I've lived at my location for
> 9.5 years. Modem and true satellite (no "mixed" systems) were the
> only options until 2-3 years ago when a main trunk line was replaced
> with fiber optics.  I had satellite for many years.  For the same
> price, DSL basically just gave me more speeds and unlimited data.
> Not enough difference in price for the base packages to really be a
> factor.
>
> I do hope you have the time to contact me via email.  (HTML
> preferred) I'd like to see some serious competition for MS Office,
> but there appears to be none, either open source or commercial.
>
>

First of all: thank you for your advice on the survey! I'm sure we can
improve for the next one :-)

As for contacting you via email. This is not how we work as a Free &
Open Source Software project and as a community. You're welcome to
express your views here or even on our discuss list. You can even open
a page on our wiki, keeping in mind that ideas, when they remain ideas
and when no one's working on them, are cheap. Making them real is what
matters.

What propels the LibreOffice project are ourselves, which means our
own work; we can't make things happen overnight by shoveling money here
and resources there. We don't have a marketing director (inasmuch as
I'm supposedly in charge of the marketing team with Italo Vignoli) who
can slap twenty market research studies on the table defining where we
should go in the future. We rely mostly on volunteers' work and
contributions.

Perhaps some may think of it as excuses: they're not. This is how we
work, this is what we do and this is how we are. If things were
different we'd be working in a company developing and selling an office
suite. But we are LibreOffice. And we'd love you to be part of
LibreOffice too. This is where survey comes in...

Cheers,

--
Charles-H. Schulz
Co-founder, The Document Foundation,
Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
Legal details: http://www.documentfoundation.org/imprint
Mobile Number: +33 (0)6 98 65 54 24.


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Paul Steyn Paul Steyn
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by snowshed
Hi Ken,

> Let's start with some general points to start with.  First, the user.
> For most home users,  who probably are not as experienced or
> knowledgeable of Word and LO as you and I,  the advanced features are
> not needed.  So something simpler to use, like Kingsoft Office Free,
> are more suited to those users.
Granted, but then Kingsoft Office Free *is* serious competition to MS
Office.

There's also Google Docs, which has a fair amount of business interest,
so I think that also qualifies.

> If you want to entice people to switch from Product X to LO, you not
> only have to be as good as Product X, you have to be a Helluva lot
> better.
Sure, if you want to convince a large portion of the user base to
switch, but just to offer a viable alternative that's not true. To be
serious competition, you just have to be roughly as good.

> Pricing is not that important anymore.
I think it is still one consideration. As are moral issues, and trust
issues, and vendor lock-in issues. In my opinion, MS has repeatedly
shown that they are willing to take steps that are actively detrimental
to their users, so I no longer trust their products. This won't be
everyone's concern, but there are some good reasons to seek
alternatives.

> And you aren't competing with just MS Office, you're also competing
> with every other document program out there.
No, I don't think you are at all.
Firstly, your statement was about competition to MS Office, but
I think we've determined that there *is* serious competition to MS
Office. Now we're discussing how relevant LO is. And, like MS Office,
LO has its place, and that place isn't in head-to-head competition with
the likes of Lyx, Tex, Inkscape and Scribus. MS Office isn't trying to
compete with those products either.

> For something more specific:
>
> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=44871
> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46986
>
> Working around these issues creates more work for the user than doing
> the same things in Word.  Would you switch to a program that causes
> more work for you?
I'm sure there are people on this list that can site bugs in MS Office
that make certain things easier to do in LO. That's just bugs, all
software has those; the question is how many affect any given individual
person, and that will determine which product he/she finds
easiest/nicest to use. Personally I don't find that many bugs with LO,
definitely not enough to make me want to switch to MS Office.

> Then, there is this thread I started 10/29/13:
>
> news://news.gmane.org:119/l4pbem$2ud$[hidden email]
>
> In case the link doesn't work in your reader/email/whatever,
> the subject is "Picture size
> controls".
>
> People who've used Word will expect that feature to work similarly,
> since the text in the dialogue box has a very similar meaning.
Well, yes, but again, this is a difference of expectation. You can't
judge LO's ability to be a viable alternative purely based on how
exactly it mirrors MS Office. Then you're not talking about serious
competition, but about a serious *clone*.


> But it *is* important to me.  If features I use do not work or work
> correctly, why would I stay? That's why I'm looking for new
> alternatives to to LO.
This is basically saying "LO doesn't work for me, so it doesn't work
for anybody". This may be why you don't personally like it, but I don't
think it would be correct to say it isn't competition to MS Office just
because you don't like it. Plenty of people don't have the issues you
seem to have with it.

Remember, I didn't ask why you had issues with LO. I am perfectly fine
with you having a different experience to mine, and mine isn't perfect
by any means (just better than MS Office's, or at least good enough
that I prefer to use LO). I asked why you said that there wasn't any
"serious competition" to MS Office. I don't see that as a fair
statement of LO and the other good products out there.

I think we've established that LO *is* serious competition to MS
Office, as well as at least Kingsoft Office Free, and possibly Google
Docs. That said, you have enough issues with LO that you don't like
using it. Fair enough. YMMV, but plenty of people prefer it. Out of
interest, how many issues do you have with MS Office? If you started
looking at MS Office with as critical an eye as you have been looking
at LO, wouldn't you also find enough issues that you would be
frustrated and looking elsewhere?

Just a thought.

Paul

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snowshed snowshed
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
Good morning, Charles,

On 11/3/13 5:29 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:

> Hello Ken,
>
> Le Sat, 02 Nov 2013 09:07:57 -0600,
> Ken Springer <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
>> On 11/2/13 3:48 AM, Charles-H. Schulz wrote:
>>> Le Fri, 1 Nov 2013 22:59:33 +0000,
>>> e-letter <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>>>
>>>> On 01/11/2013, Charles-H. Schulz
>>>> <[hidden email]> wrote:

<snip>

I've taken the liberty of snipping the older parts of this subthread,
since I won't be addressing any of those points.

> First of all: thank you for your advice on the survey! I'm sure we can
> improve for the next one :-)

You're welcome.  And I look forward to an improved survey.

> As for contacting you via email. This is not how we work as a Free &
> Open Source Software project and as a community. You're welcome to
> express your views here or even on our discuss list. You can even open
> a page on our wiki, keeping in mind that ideas, when they remain ideas
> and when no one's working on them, are cheap. Making them real is what
> matters.

I've learned not all open source projects have this view.  Some, much
more restrictive in public comments, some just tell you "we don't care
if it doesn't work, fix it yourself" or words to that effect.  So I
chose the conservative approach.  <G>

> What propels the LibreOffice project are ourselves, which means our
> own work; we can't make things happen overnight by shoveling money here
> and resources there. We don't have a marketing director (inasmuch as
> I'm supposedly in charge of the marketing team with Italo Vignoli) who
> can slap twenty market research studies on the table defining where we
> should go in the future. We rely mostly on volunteers' work and
> contributions.

Years ago, I learned that in almost anything, you're better off in the
long run to do a few things very well, rather than a lot of things just
adequately.  For LO, I've seen new features added that have issues for
some users, while existing issues for users languish.

        https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=44871
        https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46986

Those are two bugs I filed via Bugzilla, and noted them in
news://news.gmane.org:119/l5422q$ac7$[hidden email].

I don't expect them to be fixed immediately, but IMO they could've been
addressed by now.  But, the last time I checked, not even assigned.

> Perhaps some may think of it as excuses: they're not. This is how we
> work, this is what we do and this is how we are. If things were
> different we'd be working in a company developing and selling an office
> suite. But we are LibreOffice. And we'd love you to be part of
> LibreOffice too. This is where survey comes in...

But I can't give you honest and anywhere complete answers via the
existing survey.  Hence, my first reply to your post about the survey.

As I mentioned in the post linked (hopefully) above, I've got a list of
things that didn't work correctly, at least for me (cross platform
development may play a part here, I honestly don't know) in 3.x.x, but
haven't retested except for the two bugs above.  Which, by the way,
still do not work right.

I use my computer and software more as a tool and communications system,
I'm not a gamer.  Games bore me.  But I want to use the tool, not build
the tool.  I don't mind reporting issues, if the reporting system is
easy for the "average" person to use (Bugzilla is not) and confirming a
fix works for me.  In between, that part of the process no longer
interests me.


--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8
LibreOffice 4.1.2.3


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jonathon-6 jonathon-6
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Paul Steyn
On 11/03/2013 12:56 PM, Paul wrote:

>> For something more specific:
>>
>> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=44871
>> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46986
>>
>> Working around these issues creates more work for the user than doing
>> the same things in Word.  Would you switch to a program that causes
>> more work for you?
> I'm sure there are people on this list that can site bugs in MS Office

That must be a reference to the fact that the mean time between starting
MSO on Windows, and seeing the Blue Screen of Death is under sixty
seconds. (It was MSO 2K3 on WinXP machines that got me banned from
Kinko's, because every time I started MSO on those systems, the Blue
Screen of Death appeared. But that behaviour has consistently occurred
whenever I fire up MSO on a Windows system.)

Or maybe it is a reference to the fact that MSO 2013 is so completely,
utterly, and absolutely incompatible with MSO 2013, that the only
logical conclusion is that the two programs -- MSO 2013 & MSO 2013 ---
were designed by two different companies intent on producing software
that won't work with anything created by the other company. Ditto for
MSO 2010, MSO 2003, MSO XP, MSO2K, MSO97, and MSO95.

jonathon

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Urmas D. Urmas D.
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Charles-H. Schulz
"Charles-H. Schulz":

Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
"regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice  project.

The LO project is suffering from rock star syndrome: through all those years
there is a bunch of jackasses whom we all know but whom I will not name
here, who has obtained the monopolistic control over the project due to
their ultimate knowledge of its architecture and functioning. They abuse
that power to bolster their own egos as if LO was their pet project. Until
some public 'whippings' or 'executions' of those will take place, LO will be
looking as an unwelcoming place and its perspectives will be unclear.

Let's remember the ongoing sabotage of interoperation with ubiquitous
formats of data exchange: Excel 95 and its newer alternative Excel XML. Who
will support a project where such idiocy can go unpunished?



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Urmas D. Urmas D.
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by jonathon-6
"jonathon":

That must be a reference to the fact that the mean time between starting
MSO on Windows, and seeing the Blue Screen of Death is under sixty
seconds.

/yawn

Or maybe it is a reference to the fact that MSO 2013 is so completely,
utterly, and absolutely incompatible with MSO 2013,

FUD and absurd statements will take LO nowhere.



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Paul Steyn Paul Steyn
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Urmas D.
On Sun, 3 Nov 2013 23:05:00 +0700
"Urmas" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Let's remember the ongoing sabotage of interoperation with ubiquitous
> formats of data exchange: Excel 95 and its newer alternative Excel
> XML. Who will support a project where such idiocy can go unpunished?
I know, right! I can't believe how many people do still support
Microsoft, though, despite that.

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snowshed snowshed
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Paul Steyn
On 11/3/13 5:56 AM, Paul wrote:
> Hi Ken,
>
>> Let's start with some general points to start with.  First, the user.
>> For most home users,  who probably are not as experienced or
>> knowledgeable of Word and LO as you and I,  the advanced features are
>> not needed.  So something simpler to use, like Kingsoft Office Free,
>> are more suited to those users.
> Granted, but then Kingsoft Office Free *is* serious competition to MS
> Office.

Before you can say any program *is* serious competition, you have to
determine which products, or product levels, you are going to compare.
Office is available in many forms, similar to the different levels of
comfort/convenience packages in automobiles.  LO comes in just one
flavor.  Kingsoft Office in 2 flavors.  Chocolate and Vanilla.  OK,
that's not quite right.   LOL

A quick comparison of what the the three packages offer, top of the
line, for Windows:

MS Office Pro Libre Office Kingsoft Pro
        Word Writer Writer
        Excel Calc Spreadsheets
        PowerPoint Presentation Presentation
        OneNote Base
        Outlook Drawing
        Publisher
        Access
        SkyDrive
       
Notes for  the above list:

        1.  The items listed are from the respective websites.  Office 2007,
the last
                Office I purchased, has additional tools available.  I would assume the
                same for 2013.
        2.  I did not include Formula for LO as the formula editor in Office is an
                optional plugin for Word.
        3.  To the best of my knowledge, Office has never included a vector drawing
                module.

Using a feature by feature comparison, there is no way LO or Kingsoft is
serious competition for Office Pro.

But, if you compare the less comprehensive versions of Office:

Office Home and Student Office Home and Business
        Word Word
        Excel Excel
        PowerPoint PowerPoint
        OneNote OneNote
                                                                Outlook



The only feature lists that are similar is LO vs. Office Home and
Business.  I will agree that LO is competition *only* for Home and
Business.  Even then, I suspect most businesses will find an email
program more valuable than a vector drawing program.

MS Office 365 is cloud based, so LO isn't competition there at all.

I doubt there is anything on the level of MS Office Pro out there.
Corel was making a serious push in this direction at one time, damned
near destroyed them.  I don't know the full complement of WP Office at
the time, but they have dropped the database component the last time I
looked.  And no Mac version.

> There's also Google Docs, which has a fair amount of business interest,
> so I think that also qualifies.

I haven't trusted Google for anything except search abilities since
Google and Facebook were caught violating their own privacy agreements.

>> If you want to entice people to switch from Product X to LO, you not
>> only have to be as good as Product X, you have to be a Helluva lot
>> better.
> Sure, if you want to convince a large portion of the user base to
> switch, but just to offer a viable alternative that's not true. To be
> serious competition, you just have to be roughly as good.

Those are standards I do not accept.  You should aspire to be the best
you can be, not just "good enough".  Yugos were "good enough".

>> Pricing is not that important anymore.
> I think it is still one consideration. As are moral issues, and trust
> issues, and vendor lock-in issues. In my opinion, MS has repeatedly
> shown that they are willing to take steps that are actively detrimental
> to their users, so I no longer trust their products. This won't be
> everyone's concern, but there are some good reasons to seek
> alternatives.
>
>> And you aren't competing with just MS Office, you're also competing
>> with every other document program out there.
> No, I don't think you are at all.
> Firstly, your statement was about competition to MS Office, but
> I think we've determined that there *is* serious competition to MS
> Office.

Au contraire, my friend, as I just pointed out with the charts above, LO
is competition to the mid-level version of Office only.

And you aren't competing against *just* MSO, you are competing with
every other office package out there.  Ford doesn't just compete with
Chevy, they compete with Honda, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Mini-Cooper,
ET. AL.

> Now we're discussing how relevant LO is. And, like MS Office,
> LO has its place, and that place isn't in head-to-head competition with
> the likes of Lyx, Tex, Inkscape and Scribus. MS Office isn't trying to
> compete with those products either.

I never said it was competing with those programs.  For one, LyX and Tex
are typesetting programs, with LyX just being a GUI interface on top of
a LaTeX program, not word processors, although Word has a few
typesetting options.  Scribus is DTP, as is Publisher which is part of
Office Pro.  I've not used Scribus (hope to someday) but neither are
either of those programs competition for Pagemaker, Quark Express, or
Calamus.  LO has the drawing module, but I'm fairly certain it doesn't
have the abilities of Inkscape.

>> For something more specific:
>>
>> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=44871
>> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46986
>>
>> Working around these issues creates more work for the user than doing
>> the same things in Word.  Would you switch to a program that causes
>> more work for you?
> I'm sure there are people on this list that can site bugs in MS Office
> that make certain things easier to do in LO. That's just bugs, all
> software has those; the question is how many affect any given individual
> person, and that will determine which product he/she finds
> easiest/nicest to use. Personally I don't find that many bugs with LO,
> definitely not enough to make me want to switch to MS Office.

Bugs are things that don't work correctly, regardless of the software.
But, if it takes 5 steps to accomplish something in Program A, and 2
steps in Program B, B is more user friendly, IMO.

>> Then, there is this thread I started 10/29/13:
>>
>> news://news.gmane.org:119/l4pbem$2ud$[hidden email]
>>
>> In case the link doesn't work in your reader/email/whatever,
>> the subject is "Picture size
>> controls".
>>
>> People who've used Word will expect that feature to work similarly,
>> since the text in the dialogue box has a very similar meaning.
> Well, yes, but again, this is a difference of expectation. You can't
> judge LO's ability to be a viable alternative purely based on how
> exactly it mirrors MS Office. Then you're not talking about serious
> competition, but about a serious *clone*.
>
>
>> But it *is* important to me.  If features I use do not work or work
>> correctly, why would I stay? That's why I'm looking for new
>> alternatives to to LO.
> This is basically saying "LO doesn't work for me, so it doesn't work
> for anybody". This may be why you don't personally like it, but I don't
> think it would be correct to say it isn't competition to MS Office just
> because you don't like it. Plenty of people don't have the issues you
> seem to have with it.

No, they are bugs!  They don't work!  In the case of the one bug, simply
clicking the LO window to make that window the active window should not
move highlighted text to a new location in the document.

If that power drill I just bought doesn't work, should I twist the chuck
by hand, or get a different drill?  <-------- A little over the top,
just to make the point.  No matter the product, if it doesn't work for
you in any area, you go find something that does.  One more customer for
the competition, one less customer for you.

> Remember, I didn't ask why you had issues with LO. I am perfectly fine
> with you having a different experience to mine, and mine isn't perfect
> by any means (just better than MS Office's, or at least good enough
> that I prefer to use LO). I asked why you said that there wasn't any
> "serious competition" to MS Office. I don't see that as a fair
> statement of LO and the other good products out there.

As noted above, I've listed why LO is not serious competition except for
a single version of Office.

> I think we've established that LO *is* serious competition to MS
> Office, as well as at least Kingsoft Office Free, and possibly Google
> Docs. That said, you have enough issues with LO that you don't like
> using it. Fair enough. YMMV, but plenty of people prefer it. Out of
> interest, how many issues do you have with MS Office? If you started
> looking at MS Office with as critical an eye as you have been looking
> at LO, wouldn't you also find enough issues that you would be
> frustrated and looking elsewhere?

Haven't used MS Office seriously since 2003.  And it didn't work well
with long documents, say 30+ pages.  I've not had a reason to create
anything that long since then.

As I mentioned to Charles-H.Schulz, you're better off doing a few things
very well as opposed to a lot of things adequately.  The first gives you
an excellent reputation, the second gives you an OK reputation.

--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8
LibreOffice 4.1.2.3


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snowshed snowshed
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by Urmas D.
On 11/3/13 9:05 AM, Urmas wrote:
> "Charles-H. Schulz":
>
> Many people who contribute to the LibreOffice
> project discussed the need for us to understand how we could enroll
> "regular" users (whatever that means) to the LibreOffice  project.

Just FYI here, I would consider "regular" users those who still think
the CD tray is a cup holder!    LOL

Joking aside, I think they are the users who turn on the computer, have
no clues as to computer basics, but think since they can get a letter to
?????????????? typed out and printed, think they know how to use computers.

<snip>


--
Ken

Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 24.0
Thunderbird 17.0.8
LibreOffice 4.1.2.3


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krackedpress krackedpress
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Re: Engaging Users in the LibreOffice Project

In reply to this post by snowshed

Sure, LO does not have as many "modules" as the professional version of
MSO.  That said, since there are already FOSS packages to do many of
those missing "modules", why should LO have their developers work on
those as well as the "basic" office suite modules?

Word              -- >   LO Writer
     plugin        -- >   LO Formula
Excel              -- >   LO Calc
PowerPoint    -- >   LO Presentation
OneNote        -- >   . . . there should be free packages or extensions
to replace this [never used this]
Outlook          -- >  . . . Mozilla Thunderbird or other FOSS email
clients and their extensions should do the job [does for me]
Publisher        -- >  . . . Inkscape [maybe] or maybe Scribus for some jobs
Access           -- >   LO Base
SkyDrive       -- >   . . . there should be free services to replace
this [never used this, but have used a "cloud drive" once]

none included  -- >  LO Drawing

So, Lo does not include all of the modules of MSO.  So what.  You are
able to add and remove modules of MSO depending on your need.  So, if
you do not have a module in the LO office suite, you add a FOSS package
to give you that functionality.  That is what I have done over the years.

Sure it is hard to find any FOSS package that reads .pub files, but
there are FOSS packages that will create the same projects as Publisher
will do.  They may not work the same as Publisher, but they get the
job[s] done.

SkyDrive, what is so important to have that "name brand", when you can
do the job with other packages and services?

The real mindset, for me, is if there is already a FOSS package, or just
a free one, that does the job of these extra modules of MSO, then why
should the developers really spend their valuable time recreating them.
Why do we need a LO Email when there are several good packages out there
that has a many year development cycle behind it.  Our developers would
need years of work to get that far along.  Someone once suggested having
other LO modules that would make a "all in one" office suite of software
marketing statement, but the goal of LO, seems to me, for creating the
best office suite that includes a word processor, spread sheet,
presentation, data base front end, vector drawing package, and a
mathematical formula creation editor.  It never was, in my opinion, a
goal to create a replacement for Outlook or a cloud service.  How will a
free software company pay for the hardware and bandwidth to offer a
cloud-based service?  There are plenty of email clients and web mail
clients to do the work of Outlook and services to replace SkyDrive.

I know I have seen references on these lists for options that replace
OneNote for LO users.  I do not remember what they were though.  Since I
never used OneNote, I can not tell what would be the best option to do
what it does.

As for a "serious" competition for MSO, well look at the FOSS record in
Europe.  I would say LO is a serious contender due to the fact that more
and more large organizations, plus regional and national governments are
"scrapping" MSO for LO and other FOSS options.  Do anyone remember the
news out of France?  It seems that they are dropping MSO country-wide
and opting for LO and FOSS instead.  This is a trend that is happening
at the local, regional, and national levels of countries world-wide.
USA, not so much, but there is a government mandate for the use of FOSS
as an option.

I keep hearing form a few people about Kingsoft, but others are warning
me away from using it, due to some privacy issues.  So, I cannot judge
the good or bad about that software.

So, for my home-based office, I use LO and FOSS and not MSO.  The newest
MSO I have is 2003.  I do not plan on buying any newer one.

On 11/03/2013 11:32 AM, Ken Springer wrote:

> On 11/3/13 5:56 AM, Paul wrote:
>> Hi Ken,
>>
>>> Let's start with some general points to start with.  First, the user.
>>> For most home users,  who probably are not as experienced or
>>> knowledgeable of Word and LO as you and I,  the advanced features are
>>> not needed.  So something simpler to use, like Kingsoft Office Free,
>>> are more suited to those users.
>> Granted, but then Kingsoft Office Free *is* serious competition to MS
>> Office.
>
> Before you can say any program *is* serious competition, you have to
> determine which products, or product levels, you are going to compare.
> Office is available in many forms, similar to the different levels of
> comfort/convenience packages in automobiles.  LO comes in just one
> flavor.  Kingsoft Office in 2 flavors.  Chocolate and Vanilla.  OK,
> that's not quite right.   LOL
>
> A quick comparison of what the the three packages offer, top of the
> line, for Windows:
>
> MS Office Pro                Libre Office                Kingsoft Pro
>     Word                        Writer                    Writer
>     Excel                        Calc                        Spreadsheets
>     PowerPoint                Presentation                Presentation
>     OneNote                    Base
>     Outlook                    Drawing
>     Publisher
>     Access
>     SkyDrive
>    
> Notes for  the above list:
>
>     1.  The items listed are from the respective websites.  Office
> 2007, the last
>         Office I purchased, has additional tools available.  I would
> assume the
>         same for 2013.
>     2.  I did not include Formula for LO as the formula editor in
> Office is an
>         optional plugin for Word.
>     3.  To the best of my knowledge, Office has never included a
> vector drawing
>         module.
>
> Using a feature by feature comparison, there is no way LO or Kingsoft
> is serious competition for Office Pro.
>
> But, if you compare the less comprehensive versions of Office:
>
> Office Home and Student            Office Home and Business
>     Word                            Word
>     Excel                            Excel  
>     PowerPoint                    PowerPoint
>     OneNote                        OneNote
>                                 Outlook
>
>
>
> The only feature lists that are similar is LO vs. Office Home and
> Business.  I will agree that LO is competition *only* for Home and
> Business.  Even then, I suspect most businesses will find an email
> program more valuable than a vector drawing program.
>
> MS Office 365 is cloud based, so LO isn't competition there at all.
>
> I doubt there is anything on the level of MS Office Pro out there.
> Corel was making a serious push in this direction at one time, damned
> near destroyed them.  I don't know the full complement of WP Office at
> the time, but they have dropped the database component the last time I
> looked.  And no Mac version.
>
>> There's also Google Docs, which has a fair amount of business interest,
>> so I think that also qualifies.
>
> I haven't trusted Google for anything except search abilities since
> Google and Facebook were caught violating their own privacy agreements.
>
>>> If you want to entice people to switch from Product X to LO, you not
>>> only have to be as good as Product X, you have to be a Helluva lot
>>> better.
>> Sure, if you want to convince a large portion of the user base to
>> switch, but just to offer a viable alternative that's not true. To be
>> serious competition, you just have to be roughly as good.
>
> Those are standards I do not accept.  You should aspire to be the best
> you can be, not just "good enough".  Yugos were "good enough".
>
>>> Pricing is not that important anymore.
>> I think it is still one consideration. As are moral issues, and trust
>> issues, and vendor lock-in issues. In my opinion, MS has repeatedly
>> shown that they are willing to take steps that are actively detrimental
>> to their users, so I no longer trust their products. This won't be
>> everyone's concern, but there are some good reasons to seek
>> alternatives.
>>
>>> And you aren't competing with just MS Office, you're also competing
>>> with every other document program out there.
>> No, I don't think you are at all.
>> Firstly, your statement was about competition to MS Office, but
>> I think we've determined that there *is* serious competition to MS
>> Office.
>
> Au contraire, my friend, as I just pointed out with the charts above,
> LO is competition to the mid-level version of Office only.
>
> And you aren't competing against *just* MSO, you are competing with
> every other office package out there.  Ford doesn't just compete with
> Chevy, they compete with Honda, Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Mini-Cooper,
> ET. AL.
>
>> Now we're discussing how relevant LO is. And, like MS Office,
>> LO has its place, and that place isn't in head-to-head competition with
>> the likes of Lyx, Tex, Inkscape and Scribus. MS Office isn't trying to
>> compete with those products either.
>
> I never said it was competing with those programs.  For one, LyX and
> Tex are typesetting programs, with LyX just being a GUI interface on
> top of a LaTeX program, not word processors, although Word has a few
> typesetting options.  Scribus is DTP, as is Publisher which is part of
> Office Pro.  I've not used Scribus (hope to someday) but neither are
> either of those programs competition for Pagemaker, Quark Express, or
> Calamus.  LO has the drawing module, but I'm fairly certain it doesn't
> have the abilities of Inkscape.
>
>>> For something more specific:
>>>
>>>     https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=44871
>>>     https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=46986
>>>
>>> Working around these issues creates more work for the user than doing
>>> the same things in Word.  Would you switch to a program that causes
>>> more work for you?
>> I'm sure there are people on this list that can site bugs in MS Office
>> that make certain things easier to do in LO. That's just bugs, all
>> software has those; the question is how many affect any given individual
>> person, and that will determine which product he/she finds
>> easiest/nicest to use. Personally I don't find that many bugs with LO,
>> definitely not enough to make me want to switch to MS Office.
>
> Bugs are things that don't work correctly, regardless of the software.
> But, if it takes 5 steps to accomplish something in Program A, and 2
> steps in Program B, B is more user friendly, IMO.
>
>>> Then, there is this thread I started 10/29/13:
>>>
>>>     news://news.gmane.org:119/l4pbem$2ud$[hidden email]
>>>
>>>     In case the link doesn't work in your reader/email/whatever,
>>> the subject is "Picture size
>>>     controls".
>>>
>>> People who've used Word will expect that feature to work similarly,
>>> since the text in the dialogue box has a very similar meaning.
>> Well, yes, but again, this is a difference of expectation. You can't
>> judge LO's ability to be a viable alternative purely based on how
>> exactly it mirrors MS Office. Then you're not talking about serious
>> competition, but about a serious *clone*.
>>
>>
>>> But it *is* important to me.  If features I use do not work or work
>>> correctly, why would I stay? That's why I'm looking for new
>>> alternatives to to LO.
>> This is basically saying "LO doesn't work for me, so it doesn't work
>> for anybody". This may be why you don't personally like it, but I don't
>> think it would be correct to say it isn't competition to MS Office just
>> because you don't like it. Plenty of people don't have the issues you
>> seem to have with it.
>
> No, they are bugs!  They don't work!  In the case of the one bug,
> simply clicking the LO window to make that window the active window
> should not move highlighted text to a new location in the document.
>
> If that power drill I just bought doesn't work, should I twist the
> chuck by hand, or get a different drill?  <-------- A little over the
> top, just to make the point.  No matter the product, if it doesn't
> work for you in any area, you go find something that does.  One more
> customer for the competition, one less customer for you.
>
>> Remember, I didn't ask why you had issues with LO. I am perfectly fine
>> with you having a different experience to mine, and mine isn't perfect
>> by any means (just better than MS Office's, or at least good enough
>> that I prefer to use LO). I asked why you said that there wasn't any
>> "serious competition" to MS Office. I don't see that as a fair
>> statement of LO and the other good products out there.
>
> As noted above, I've listed why LO is not serious competition except
> for a single version of Office.
>
>> I think we've established that LO *is* serious competition to MS
>> Office, as well as at least Kingsoft Office Free, and possibly Google
>> Docs. That said, you have enough issues with LO that you don't like
>> using it. Fair enough. YMMV, but plenty of people prefer it. Out of
>> interest, how many issues do you have with MS Office? If you started
>> looking at MS Office with as critical an eye as you have been looking
>> at LO, wouldn't you also find enough issues that you would be
>> frustrated and looking elsewhere?
>
> Haven't used MS Office seriously since 2003.  And it didn't work well
> with long documents, say 30+ pages.  I've not had a reason to create
> anything that long since then.
>
> As I mentioned to Charles-H.Schulz, you're better off doing a few
> things very well as opposed to a lot of things adequately.  The first
> gives you an excellent reputation, the second gives you an OK reputation.
>


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